Sunday night I drove to Orlando from Weeki Wachee, a two hour drive on the darkest road on Earth. One thing I've noticed about Florida is that there aren't many street lights. There are lights in front of gas stations and grocery stores and things like that, but the state itself just didn't feel like putting lights on the road. Maybe Floridians don't go out at night? Whatever the case, I made it to Disney property safely, give or take a few scary cab drivers and a lot of traffic. I stayed with one of my roommates, Lindsey, at the All Star Movies hotel, and we fell asleep around midnight. At four, we woke up again. We wanted to get to check in at five, but were a little late because all of Lindsey's things were in the room, and we had to bring them to the bag check so they could hold them until we could pick them up later since my car was full.
Once we got to check in, Lindsey realized she forgot all of her paperwork so I told her to wait in line while I went back to the hotel to get it. Thirty minutes later, I returned to Vista Way, one of the three apartment complexes that College Program kids stay in. One of my other roommates, Divinity, arrived a little after I did. Around six thirty or seven, a few coordinators came out and led us to the welcome center. Officially, check in starts at nine, but all of us in the know (read: on the internet) heard that they start early if there are enough people in line, hence the four a.m. wake up.
After the first round of paperwork, Lindsey, Divinity, and I waited for Devin, our last roommate, to arrive. We couldn't get our building assignment until she showed up so we were a little antsy, but around 8:30, she caught up to us and I scampered over to one of the housing coordinators. By some stroke of good luck, we got the exact specifications we wanted, a two bedroom apartment in Chatham Square. Chatham is newer than Vista Way, but older than Patterson, and it has a bus stop, which Patterson does not. It's a little more expensive than Vista Way, but worth it for the peace and quiet (Vista has a reputation for being the "party" complex). The next few hours were a blur of paperwork and trips to pick up and drop off all of our various baggage and luggage. Then, we hopped onto the bus to Casting, where we found out where we would be working and filled out two hours' worth of paperwork.
I'm going to be working in Fantasyland! It's the most happening place in the Magic Kingdom right now, because it's under construction to expand over twice it's size. Even though I was not-so-secretly hoping to be placed in another park so I wouldn't have to work late hours (Magic Kingdom is always open the latest, sometimes until three a.m.), I'm glad I got placed where I am. After we got back from Casting, we went to get Lindsey's luggage and arrived a little late to our "mandatory housing meeting," which was pretty standard but basically everything they told us was taken straight from our Program Guides, which are little booklets that look like day planners that give an overview of the entire program. It's ninety-nine pages long, so it's pretty extensive. After the meeting we went searching for food, and ended up spending about three hours in Walmart fighting off tourists and all the other College Program kids who were swarming the store. I finally got to sleep around one o'clock.
The next day, Devin and I woke up and tried to set up our router, but it hadn't worked the night before and it still wasn't connecting so we called to the front desk and they eventually sent someone over. Apparently something was wrong with their modem, so after it was fixed we all connected and spent the next hour engrossed in our computer screens. After we tore ourselves away, Divinity and I went to Universal Studios to pick up our annual passes (!!!!) and ride a few rollercoasters. We wanted to hang out in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but it was so busy that we just rode one ride and left. We went to bed around one, buzzing with anticipation for the next day, when we would go through our general orientation and get our nametags!
|Most importantly, I had my first College Program churro.|
See, I told you that would be long.